The Graduate Certificate in Plastics Engineering Fundamentals is designed to provide engineering professionals
- such as mechanical engineers involved in
the manufacturing or design of plastic parts - with the plastics background they generally do not receive as part
of their undergraduate education. This four-course online certificate program provides students with the
fundamental concepts associated with plastics materials, processing and design.
All of the courses in this certificate program may be applied towards any of the graduate degree programs offered
through UMass Lowell's Department of Plastics Engineering.
Available entirely online!
The Plastics Engineering Fundamentals Graduate Certificate is open to students that have earned a B.S. Degree in
science or engineering. This certificate program is particularly popular amongst engineers involved in manufacturing
and those interested in pursuing graduate studies in Plastics Engineering.
Recommended Prerequisite Knowledge
Engineering or Science Bachelor's Degree, plus general chemistry and mathematics.
"UMass Lowell's part-time Graduate Certificate in Plastics Engineering was a convenient way for me to gain
the experience I sought because it was available entirely online. My professors were so helpful and
responsive, and everything I needed was online from the library to live chat sessions. The Certificate
Program was so convenient and flexible I was able to complete the program in one year." - Sahana Nanjappa
Total Courses: 4; Total Graduate Credits: 12
Required Courses (2):
- PLAS.5440 Advanced Plastics Materials - Available Spring 2017!
- PLAS.5780 Advanced Plastics Processing
Elective Courses (Choose 2):
- PLAS.5030 Mechanical Behavior of Polymers - Available Spring 2017!
- PLAS.5060 Polymer Structure Properties & Applications - Available Spring 2017!
- PLAS.5180 Plastics Product Design
- PLAS.5760 Advanced Mold Design - Available Spring 2017!
- PLAS.6060 Plastics Manufacturing Systems Engineering
For questions regarding your application status, contact the Graduate School at (800) 656-GRAD.
Credit Transfer Policy
Students enrolled in the Plastics Engineering Fundamentals Certificate Program may transfer one 3-credit graduate
course, grade of B or better, taken from an accredited U.S. or Canadian university provided the graduate course
content from the other university is substantially equivalent to the certificate course for which it would be
substituted. Decisions regarding course equivalency will be made collectively by the Plastics Engineering Department
For specific questions regarding these plastics courses and the plastics certificate program, email
Get a Head Start! Apply the Courses in this Certificate Towards a Master's Degree in Plastics Engineering
Students, especially international or out of state students, can take these online courses while living in
their home country or state, leading to significant cost savings by reducing on campus living expenses.
For example, most full-time, on campus students take 18 or more months to complete their M.S. in Plastics
Engineering. A student taking four online courses could complete their M.S. degree requirements by spending
only about twelve months at Lowell, since they would be able to transfer 12 credits from their online graduate
certificate into the Master's Degree in Plastics Engineering. Also, the Plastics Engineering Department will
waive the GRE requirement if you complete the certificate with a GPA of 3.5 or better.
Gainful Employment Disclosure Information
Completion rates, median loan debts and program costs are outlined for
each certificate program.
Graduate Certificate Gainful Employment Disclosure Information
PLAS.5030 Mechanical Behavior of Polymers
Topics covered in this course include linear viscoelasticity, creep, stress relaxation, dynamic behavior, hysteresis, stress-strain response phenomena, principles of time-temperature superposition, rubber elasticity, failure and fracture mechanisms for polymers, and the effect of additives on mechanical behavior. Real life design examples are used to demonstrate the topics and concepts as much as possible. 3 credits.
Prerequisite: MECH.2110, MECH.2150, MATH.2340, MA
PLAS.5060 Polymer Structure Properties & Applications
Relationships between polymer structure (chemical composition, molecular weight and flexibility, intermolecular order and bonding, supermolecular structure) and practical properties (processability, mechanical, acoustic, thermal, electrical, optical, and chemical) and applications. 3 credits.
Prerequisite: 26.202 pre-re or Grad Career.
PLAS.5180 Plastics Product Design
This course reviews the theoretical principles and the engineering practice associated with the development of new plastic products. The course focuses on design practices for products that will be produced by conventional and advanced injection molding processes. Topics include design methodology, plastic materials selection, design for manufacturing, computer aided engineering, mechanical behavior of plastics, structural design of plastic parts, prototyping techniques, experimental stress analysis, and assembly techniques for plastic parts. 3 credits.
Prerequisite: 26.211, 26.218 or grad car pre
PLAS.5440 Advanced Plastics Materials
This course reviews the historical developments of polymeric material systems, commodity, engineering, biodegradable, and high performance thermoplastics. Topics include their synthesis, structure, properties, and applications and there is also an overview of typical additives that are used to modify the properties of plastics. Knowledge of general and/or organic chemistry is recommended as a prerequisite for this course. . 3 credits.
Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions
PLAS.5760 Advanced Mold Design
This course provides an integrated approach to mold engineering which includes the interrelationships of polymeric materials, engineering principles, processing, and plastics product design. Major topics include cost estimation, mold layout and feed system design, cooling systems, structural design considerations, and ejector system design. Analytical treatment of the subject matter is given based on the relevant rheology, thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid flow and strength of materials. 3 credits.
Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions
PLAS.5780 Advanced Plastics Processing
This course reviews the common plastics manufacturing processes, including extrusion, injection molding, blow molding, thermoforming, and rotational molding. After the review, the course focus shifts to the impacts of screw design and processing parameters on the conveyance, melting, devolatilization, and mixing with single screws and compounding with twin screw extruders. This course also includes an overview of die designs, multi-shot and gas assist injection molding, film stretching and methods for heating and cooling in plastics processing. 3 credits.
PLAS.6060 Plastics Manufacturing Systems Engineering
The course provides guidance about plastics manufacturing as an integrated system with broadly applicable analysis in three areas: 1) machinery, 2) controls, and 3) operations. The machinery topics include heating/cooling, hydraulics/pneumatics, electric drives, and sensors. The controls topics include signal conditioning, data acquisition, machine controllers, and related control laws. The operations topics include process characterization, process optimization, quality control, and automation. The course is developed to support plastics processing engineers and others involved with plastics manufacturing who are performing process development, research, and machine design. 3 credits.
Intensive Training in Plastics Manufacturing
UMass Lowell also offers a variety intensive noncredit training seminars in the latest plastics manufacturing
processes. These one- to four-day seminars are held in the University's state-of-the-art facilities throughout
the year, but many of them can also be offered onsite at your company. Visit
http://continuinged.uml.edu/plastics for additional information!